Remote Customer Disservice* for my Remote

 Comcast knows the value of outsourcing

The Remote Rests in Peace

The Caribbean Comcast telemarketing operator confirmed my Comcast remote device (made in China) was dead because fresh batteries did not light it up. Service solution: Bring it to and swap it at a local Comcast center. I asked “Which NJ Comcast is near Montclair?” Starting with the A’s, he read a list of cities until I recognized a nearby location. Took a while because W is the 23rd letter in the alphabet and West Orange is the nearest town. He gave me its phone number. When I called, he answered it. Comcast uses the Caribbean outsourcer to answer the phone for a local Comcast service center. For all I know, he’s the only operator.

I requested a manager. She followed the blame-the-victim approach: “We shouldn’t even be talking to you. Your wife owns this account!” I tried the Comcast corporate number (215-286-1700) and was connected to USA Comcast service: Described the experience and asked for a new remote plus cancellation of charges for daily service until the remote shows up (needs 3-7 days). USA Comcast agreed—and threw in cancellation of the standard $9.95 shipping charge. Roughly that comes to about $30-$40 in credits (days credited plus no shipping charge).

I admire Comcast’s management savvy: Comcast’s outsourcer choices in China and the Caribbean create customer dissatisfaction and loss of American jobs, but that’s OK with Comcast because it is offset by building profits by cutting product and service costs. Comcast knows what it is doing.

Consumerist Takeaway: Comcast offered three service options: 1-Consumer provides labor, time and travel costs to replace the defective remote. 2-Consumer pays the $9.95 for shipping and handling. 3-Consumer pays $16 for a service rep to bring the remote. Comcast profits from any of the three—if a consumer lets Comcast get away with it. 

Hardcover Edition

                                                                                                                               *There is a chapter on Customer Disservice in my new The Consumerist Manifesto Handbook. Available in hardbound or e-book (NOOK). To order, click



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